Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Nothing is going to happen - Journalism meets the Uncertainty Principle

I don't know enough science to get all metaphysical and explain Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle to you, Wikipedia is better at that. In very layman's terms it says that one cannot know both the momentum and location of an electron. This is because in order to determine the location of the electron you need to see it. To do so you would use an electron microscope. The problem comes when the light photon from the microscope hits the electron. You have just transferred an unknown amount of momentum from the photon to the electron. Thus you can never know its precise momentum.The act of observation affects the outcome.

I would like to examine Seymour Hersh's article The Iran Plans, which appeared in the April 17th issue of the New Yorker, as a potential example of this phemomena.
My assertion, which is based partly on creative thinking, partly on denial, and partly on a six-pack of Hoegaarden imbibed at a recent ecumenical council, is this:
The United States will not nuke Iran.
The United States may not even attack Iran at all.
Jason Kropsky can stop worrying.
What possible basis can I have for this assertion save perhaps some rancid wheat and a fall from my bar stool?
Hersh's article was the biggest cock block this administration has seen. And that term is appropriate because we all know why Bush really likes wars.
As I am sure you can infer from the explanation above, the amount of attention caused by Hersh's article is similiar to the light photon hitting the observed electron. With so many focusing on the planned nuclear assault, and with so many against it, the administration's momentum has been changed. Therefore the attack will not happen.

I hope.

Otherwise it's game over.


Catherine said...
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Catherine said...

Nicely done. I think you have a point - the administration had to deny Hersh's assertions so vehemently that they couldn't possibly endure Tim Russert's inevitable "gotcha" if we attacked.